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A school bus driver who is only 18 years old takes kids out of state on his very first trip in violation of Federal Regulations. A van full of students headed to Penn State crashes, the driver having been pulled over by the police once on the same trip and using his cell phone constantly. A truck driver speaks English so poorly he needs an interpreter to answer basic questions, and after a fatal accident, his company disappears. What do these tales show?

There is a new menace on the highway. “Fly By Night” truck and bus companies who eschew the safety training that established carriers and professional drivers live by and cause death and mayhem on the highways. These problems have been brought into focus by two recent crashes. A bus bound from New York’s Chinatown to Philadelphia crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike killing two and injuring dozens more.

This bus was owned and operated not by Greyhound or one of the more established bus lines but by Super Luxury Tours of Wilkes Barre. A second crash occurred in the Bronx, New York, on a bus returning from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut to Chinatown. Fifteen were killed.

The expansion in the number of “cheap” charter bus lines has mirrored the increase in fatalities and injuries.

Logic dictates that for a company to offer Super Cheap fares, corners may have to be cut somewhere to show a profit. Perhaps low paid drivers. Perhaps poor training, Perhaps putting schedules above safety. Whatever the reason, all travelers have reason to investigate these bus companies before saving a few dollars on a ticket. Your life may depend upon it.

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